user preferences

north america / mexico / the left / opinion / analysis Tuesday January 02, 2018 03:33 byWayne Price

There has been an increase of U.S. interest in "socialism," especially among young adults. What is the significance of this? What does "socialism" mean to people? Why is this happening now? What is holding back the development of a socialist movement? What should be the reaction of anarchists and other anti-authoritarian socialists?


In the United States there has been recently a rise of interest in “socialism,” especially among young adults (“millennials”). Different political views have reacted to this rise in various ways. Conservatives are appalled (“Have we forgotten the lessons of the Cold War?”). The leadership of the Democratic Party (the moderate center) is disturbed (“We’re for capitalism, after all!”) The liberal-left is pleased, so long as “socialism” is interpreted to mean liberal-left politics—not taking away the wealth of the capitalists and creating a democratic, nonprofit, economy.

Anarchists also have various responses. Some hope to create a libertarian (anti-authoritarian) socialist revolutionary wing of a socialist movement. Others see anarchism as different from—even opposed to—socialism of any kind.

To be sure, what most people mean by “socialism” is unclear. I assume that at a minimum they mean opposition to the capitalist status quo and a desire for a better, more just, society (discussed further below).

This is a change in U.S. political culture. For a long time “socialism” (let alone “communism”) has been a word on the devil’s tongue. During the Cold War, being a socialist was enough to get one fired (and being a communist was even more dangerous). All other industrialized capitalist democracies developed mass parties calling themselves socialist, social democratic, labor, or communist, and many “third world” countries had governments calling themselves African socialist, Arab socialist, etc. This never developed in the U.S. Its main “left” party was the Democratic Party, which was always pro-capitalist (leaving aside its origins as pro-slavery). In the last two periods of radicalization (the ‘30s and the ‘60s), there developed minorities which regarded themselves as revolutionary socialist, views which mostly died out in the more conservative periods which followed.

The most obvious sign of this change in politics was the 2016 electoral run of Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party. He was self-identified as a “democratic socialist” and an advocate of “political revolution.” While in his past, Sanders had expressed sympathy for state-communist regimes, he currently identifies his “socialism” with the social democratic Nordic (Scandinavian) countries. Sanders’ campaign undoubtedly promoted an interest in socialism, but it was also a symptom of that interest, which had been developing for some time.

The Polls Speak



“The anti-Communist Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation was alarmed to find in a recent survey that 44 percent of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country compared with 42 percent who want to live under capitalism.” (Goldberg 2017)

“The American Culture and Faith Institute recently conducted a survey of adults 18 and older….Most Americans (58 percent) see themselves as politically moderate. … ‘The most alarming result… was that four out of every ten adults say they prefer socialism to capitalism.…That is a large minority, and it includes a majority of the liberals.’ …40 percent of Americans now prefer socialism to capitalism….” (Nammo 2017)

“…An April 2016 study by Harvard University found that 51 percent of millennials —a loosely defined group of people aged between 18 and 29 — reject capitalism and 33 percent support socialism. “ (Strickland 2017)

“In a recent YouGov survey, [Jan. 25–27, 2016] respondents were asked whether they had a ‘favorable or unfavorable opinion’ of socialism and of capitalism.…Overall, 52 percent expressed a favorable view of capitalism, compared with 29 percent for socialism….There were just two exceptions to this pattern: Democrats rated socialism and capitalism equally positively (both at 42 percent favorability). And respondents younger than 30 were the only group that rated socialism more favorably than capitalism (43 percent vs. 32 percent, respectively).” (Rampell 2016)

From a Gallup poll: “Thirty-five percent of Americans have a positive view of the term socialism, similar to what was found in 2012 and 2010. …60%…have a positive view of capitalism….Young Americans constitute the only age group that does not view the term socialism more negatively than capitalism.” (Newport 2016)

“…Last summer Gallup asked survey respondents [for whom] they would be willing to vote….Just 34 percent of respondents age 65 and older said they would be willing to vote for a socialist, compared with about twice that level [69 percent] among respondents younger than 30.” (Rampell 2016)

“….As far back as 2011, a Pew poll revealed, fully 49% of Americans (not just Democrats) under 30 had a positive view of socialism, while just 47% had a favorable opinion of capitalism….” (Meyerson 2016)

What the polls reveal, pretty consistently, is that the majority of U.S. people reject socialism and are in favor of capitalism, but that a notable minority (between 30 to 40 percent) favors socialism. While this is only a minority, it is about the same proportion of the population as that which supports President Trump! Approximately one in three is a significant number. Importantly, young adults are most likely to have a positive view of socialism and a negative view of capitalism (from 40 to 50 percent). “Bernie Sanders didn’t push the young toward socialism. They were already there.” (Meyerson 2016)

This is part of a general swing among part of the population toward the left. I am not going into the polls which show that a large number of people—often the majority of the U.S. population—agrees with the left on many issues: universal health care, increasing (not decreasing) taxes on the rich, free (or cheap) higher education, providing jobs for all, fighting global warming, raising the minimum wage, supporting unions, etc.

“…They don’t counterpose socialism to a militant liberalism. The rise in the number of people who identify as socialists coincides with a rise in the number who call themselves liberals. Whereas in 2000 only 27% of Democrats told Pew they were liberal, by 2015 that figure had risen to 42%, and among millennials, it had increased from 37% in 2004 to 49% today.” (Meyerson 2016)

Why the Rise of Socialism?



One factor in the increase of socialist interest is the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites, the changes in China, and the end of the Cold War. During the Cold War, both sides agreed that the “socialism” of the Soviet Union was the only socialism there was or could be. Those repelled by the totalitarian repression of the Soviet Union were led to reject “socialism” in favor of Western “democratic” capitalism (“free enterprise”). Those who rejected the evils of capitalism (poverty, racism, pollution, wars of aggression in Vietnam and elsewhere) were attracted to the statified regime of Stalinist Russia as “really existing socialism.” Very few (besides anarchists) rejected both sides in the Cold War and both models of society.

Today the Communist states are no longer available as a bogeyman (the current “enemy” is jihadist terrorism, which is anti-socialist). The right still uses Stalinist Russia as an historical bad example (as it was), but their argument does not have the same bite it once did. Using civilized Sweden’s welfare state as an example of socialism hardly raises the same horror as Stalin’s gulag. The most the conservatives can say is that centralized, bureaucratic, state economies are inefficient. Which they are, but how efficient is U.S. capitalism?

The main reason for the spread of socialism lies within the United States and its allies. An extended period of relative prosperity followed the Great Depression and the destruction of World War II. This ran out of steam around 1970. The general development since (with ups and downs) has been stagnation, increased poverty, growing inequality, successful attacks on the unions, revived threats of nuclear war, and movement toward ecological catastrophe.

The prime mover of millions of Americans into the socialist column has been the near complete dysfunctionality of contemporary American capitalism. Where once the regulated, unionized and semi-socialized capitalism of the mid-20th century produced a vibrant middle class majority, the deregulated, deunionized and financialized capitalism of the past 35 years has produced record levels of inequality, a shrinking middle class, and scant economic opportunities (along with record economic burdens) for the young.” (Meyerson 2016)

The lived experience of young people in the working class (as most people are) is no longer one of apparent prosperity. Instead they face limited job opportunities, low wages, mountains of school debt, no union protection, a threat of another economic crash, and a frightening future of climate change. They face the most reactionary government in generations, attacking everything good and decent, while the Democratic alternative remains wishy-washy and inadequate (barely a “lesser evil”). The question is not why are people turning toward socialism but why aren’t more people turning into socialists?

The Problem with Socialism



What is “socialism” or “communism” (using them as having similar meanings, as was the case originally)? In Vol. 1 of Capital, Karl Marx refers to “a community of free individuals, carrying on their work with the means of production in common, in which the labor-power of all the different individuals is consciously applied as the combined labor-power of the community.” (1906; 90) Their work would be “consciously regulated by them in accordance with a settled plan.” (92) That is, a cooperative, socialized, economy would be “consciously regulated by them,” the “free individuals,” self-organized in their community. This seems like a good enough general definition of socialism/communism.

Unfortunately Marx saw this as being carried out in a centralized manner, through the state. (See the program at the end of Section II of the Communist Manifesto, “Proletarians and Communists.”) Anarchists point out that the state (according to both anarchist and Marxist analysis) is not a self-organized community of free individuals, but a bureaucratic-military machine standing over and above the rest of society; such an instrument can only serve the interests of a minority ruling class. It can be nothing else. (Anarchists advocate a democratic federation of free associations and workplace and neighborhood assemblies which would be a community of self-organized free individuals—and would not be a state.)

This statist orientation of Marx (and many other socialists) can lead in two main directions—both with roots in Marx. One statist strategy is to try to take over the existing capitalist state, mostly through elections. The workers would seek to take over the present bureaucratic-military state, nationalizing most of the economy. (This became the program of the European “social democrats”.) But the capitalists and their state agents do not want to let socialist workers take over their state and take away their wealth and power. They have put many roadblocks in the way of the socialist movement, from granting temporary, minimal, reforms to fascist coups.

In the period after World War II, the European social democrats completed their evolution from reformists to mild liberals. They no longer even pretend to advocate a new sort of society. They propose to improve the economy only through government manipulation, such as liberal Keynesian spending, tax changes, and (sometimes) nationalization of failing industries. They have simply become the left wing of capitalist politics. In the prosperity after World War II they could achieve certain gains for working people in the welfare state. Now that the prosperity is over, they are unable to resist capitalism’s turn to austerity, its attacks on working people’s standard of living.

In Bernie Sanders recent presidential campaign he identified as a “democratic socialist.” He did not raise any socialist programs; he did not call for expropriating any of the capitalists or their corporations (such as the oil companies or the banks). He did not raise a vision of a different, better, sort of society. He only proposed to improve society through more government intervention in the capitalist economy. His state programs might provide benefits in this or that area, but are overall ineffective and inadequate for this time of decline and crisis.

The other statist strategy is to overthrow and smash the existing state—but not to create a self-managed “community of free individuals.” Rather they aim to create a new state, which is ruled by a single party controlled by an individual or small group. Such a program may seem to be revolutionary. In China and other countries, as well as in the satellites of the Soviet Union, the Communists did overturn the old states. They did take away the wealth of the old capitalist class (the stock-owning bourgeoisie). But the bourgeoisie was replaced by a new ruling class, a collectivist bureaucracy. The workers continued to be exploited. The state became the center for capital accumulation, in competition with other states and corporations, with an internal market. These regimes murdered tens of millions of workers, peasants, and others. Rather than a “community of free individuals,” this was state capitalism. While they had their benefits, overall these states were horribly oppressive and economically inefficient. Eventually most of them collapsed back into traditional capitalism. (There is also a third, very much minority, trend within Marxism which bases itself on the radically-democratic, humanist, and proletarian aspects of Marx, with politics which overlap with anarchism.)

Anarchists have always rejected these statist programs, predicting that in practice “state socialism” would result in state capitalism. In 1910, Peter Kropotkin predicted, “To hand over to the State all the main sources of economic life—the land, the mines, the railways, banking, insurance, and so on—as also the management of all the main branches of industry, in addition to all the functions already accumulated in its hands (education, …defense of the territory, etc.) would mean to create a new instrument of tyranny. State capitalism would only increase the powers of bureaucracy and capitalism.” (1975; 109-110)

When we ask, why aren’t more people socialists, part of the answer has to do with what socialism has presented itself as: bureaucratic, ineffective, no different from pro-capitalist liberalism, inefficient, or—under certain conditions—monstrously repressive. If people are nevertheless turning to socialism, it is due to the failures of capitalism!

Libertarian Socialism?



From the beginning, anarchists have rejected state socialism (or what they called “authoritarian socialism”). Kropotkin wrote, “…The anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing…consider the wage-system and capitalist production [for the sake of profits] altogether as an obstacle to progress….While combating…capitalism altogether, the anarchists combat with the same energy the State as the main support of that system.” (1975; 109)

P.J. Proudhon, the first person to call himself an anarchist, also called himself a “socialist”. Michael Bakunin, who was involved in initiating the modern anarchist movement, called himself a “revolutionary socialist”, as well as a “collectivist.” Kropotkin regarded himself as a “socialist” and a “communist.” The dominant tendency in anarchism after Kropotkin was “anarchist-communism.” Even Benjamin Tucker, a major individualist-anarchist, called himself a “socialist” (mostly meaning that he was anti-capitalist). In the 1880s, Adolph Fischer, one of the Chicago “Haymarket martyrs,” claimed that “every anarchist is a socialist, but every socialist is not necessarily an anarchist.” (Guerin 1970; 12) Many anarchists, and others who were close to anarchism, have called themselves “libertarian socialists” or “anti-authoritarian socialists” or “libertarian communists.”

I write the last paragraph because many socialists simply do not know that anarchists are, and have always been, socialists. And many anarchists also do not know this. Both groups take for granted that “socialism” means “state socialism.” But a view which advocates a cooperative, collectivized, economy, of freely federated associations, which produces for use and not profit, and which is democratically planned from the bottom up—what is this but authentic socialism? It would be a classless, stateless, “community of free individuals” consciously self-managing their collective labor and dividing their products for the good of all: socialism.

There are also anarchists who do not want to use the term “socialist” today because it is so unpopular—whatever its history. As I have demonstrated, however, there is a lot of support for “socialism.” It is a more popular term than “anarchism”! (Probably most people see “anarchism” as violence, bomb-throwing, window-smashing, and chaos.) It makes sense for anarchists to show their connection to the more popular term. However, I would agree that “communism,” in the U.S. anyway, is still a very negative term (meaning totalitarianism to most people). In other countries (such as France or South Africa) this may not be the case, but in the U.S. it is. I am in the tradition of anarchist-communism, from Kropotkin on, but I rarely use the communist label. (See Price 2008.)

There are also anarchists who deliberately reject the “socialist” label, because they identify as “post-Left,” “post-anarchist,” “anti-civilizationist,” or other views. They often write as if it is a new insight to reject the authoritarianism and pro-capitalism of the Left. Actually anarchists have been opposing the statism and pro-capitalism of the majority of the Left since the beginning—it is what anarchism has always been about. But anarchists have not confused “state socialism” with everything which is on the Left. The Left is in opposition to capitalism, the state, and all oppression. As I quoted Kropotkin above, anarchists “are the left wing” of the Left, the left of the Left—that is, we are most in opposition to all the evils of capitalist society, the ones really for the “community of free individuals”. Anarchists are the authentic socialists.

Popularity of Libertarian Socialist Programs



Due to the collapse of most Communist states and the overall failures of Marxism, there has been an upsurge of interest in anarchism—certainly as compared to the 30s and 60s. Yet “anarchism” is not yet a mass movement or a widely-liked label. Without seeing any polls, I am sure that it is less liked than “socialism” (but perhaps more accepted than “communism”—in the U.S.).

However, there are aspects of anarchism (libertarian socialism) which are relatively popular. For example, the idea of government takeover of industry (“nationalization”) is not attractive to many people. Much more attractive is the idea of worker-run enterprises (producer cooperatives), worker’s management, consumer cooperatives, government ownership at the local level (city, town, or village), with worker management. Such ideas have become quite widespread on the Left. There is a significant number of writers, not all identified as socialists, who have made workers’ self-management central to their programs (see Price 2014).

In themselves, the ideas of producer co-ops and municipalization are not radical—but in certain circumstances they may be revolutionary: such as a program to expropriate the energy industry and turn it over to worker and community control. Or if striking workers occupied workplaces and demanded to take them away from the owners, proposing to federate with each other.

Similarly, among climate justice theorists, there is agreement on the need for coordinated efforts and an overall plan for a transition to renewable energy, on a national and international level. But there is also agreement on the need for more economic, industrial, and urban decentralization and local integration. This would cut down transportation and distribution, make recycling easier, improve democratic participation in planning, bring food production into daily life, and in general create a human scale life style. Such ideas have been raised from writers such as Naomi Klein to Pope Francis, as well as Marxist eco-socialists (see Price 2016).

Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, wrote a book asserting, “We need to move decisively to rebuild our local communities….Community, it turns out, is the key to physical survival in our environmental predicament and also to human satisfaction.” (2007; 2) McKibben is a left liberal (he backed Sanders). But he illustrates how ideas, worked on for generations by anarchists, have become active in the current movement. (Anarchists can also agree with the need for overall democratic planning for a transition to a balanced ecology—but not by the existing institutions of the capitalist states.)

Even in the short run, there are militants who are fed up with approaches based on trying to take over the state—usually through elections, via the Democratic Party or a new-party. They could be open to a strategy based on militant mass actions, demonstrations, union organizing, occupations of workplaces and schools, strikes and general strikes which close down cities until real gains are won. These are the strategy and tactics of a revolutionary anarchism.

Conclusion


“Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice, and socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.”—Michael Bakunin

In the broadening movement of opposition to the U.S. capitalist attacks on the working population, there is a need to build a revolutionary libertarian socialist wing of anarchists and other anti-authoritarian socialists. The evils of capitalism in decline pushes people toward socialism. Its bureaucratic, statist, and centralist history pushes people away from socialism. But a focus on freedom, self-management, and cooperation may attract a layer of workers and youth and other oppressed people to the vision of a truly free, cooperative, democratic, and ecologically balanced community.


References



Goldberg, Michelle (2017, Dec. 5). “Why Young People Hate Capitalism.” New York Times. A27.

Guerin, Daniel (1970). Anarchism: From Theory to Practice. (trans. M. Klopper). NY: Monthly Review Press.

Kropotkin, Peter (1975). The Essential Kropotkin (eds. E. Capouya & K. Tompkins). NY: Liveright.

Marx, Karl (1906). Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1. NY: Modern Library.

McKibben, Bill (2007). Deep Economy; The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. NY: Henry Holt & Co./Times Books.

Meyerson, Harold (2016, Feb. 29). “Why are there Suddenly Millions of Socialists in America?” Guardian U.S. Edition.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/29/w...erica

Nammo, Dave (2017, March 18). “Socialism’s Rising Popularity Threatens America’s Future.” National Review.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445882/socialism-...inion

Newport, Frank (2016, May 6). Gallup News.
http://news.gallup.com/poll/191354/americans-views-soci....aspx

Price, Wayne (2016). “Eco-Socialism and Decentralism: The Re-Development of Anarchism in the Ecology/Climate Justice Movement.” Anarkismo.
https://www.anarkismo.net/article/28974?search_text=Way...Price

Price, Wayne (2014). “Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises: A Revolutionary Program; Industrial Democracy and Revolution ” Anarkismo.
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/26931?search_text=Wayn...Price

Price, Wayne (2008). “What is Anarchist Communism?” Anarkismo.
https://www.anarkismo.net/article/7451?search_text=Wayn...Price

Rampell, Catherine (2016, Feb. 5). “Millennials have a Higher Opinion of Socialism than of Capitalism.” Washington Post.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2016/02/...c9c9c

Strickland, Patrick (2017, Feb. 9). “More Americans Joining Socialist Groups under Trump” Al Jazeera United States.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/02/ameri....html

*written for www.Anarkismo.net

north america / mexico / community struggles / non-anarchist press Wednesday December 20, 2017 15:48 bySex Worker Solidarity Network

The City of Tampa is rewriting a homophobic bathhouse ordinance to now criminalize sex workers. Please call and email city council members to oppose the criminalization of sex workers and stop the homophobic bathhouse ordinance.

The “Bathhouse Ordinance” it’s called: flying under the radar of dedicated activists and sex workers alike, the City of Tampa has revived a homophobic law in hopes of targeting “sex traffickers.” But it isn’t difficult to see what happens when the state “cracks down” on crime. In true Reaganite and Clintonian fashion, this ordinance presents as a public good while serving to further criminalize and marginalize victims, workers, undocumented immigrants, trans people, black women and all people of color. While touting their own whistles, Guido Maniscalco and Mike Suarez (two of the most sympathetic bureaucrats on city council) have proposed an ordinance targeting “sex-traffickers” which, unsurprisingly, NEVER ONCE mentions sex traffickers. Unfortunately as is often in the narrative surrounding sex trafficking, this ordinance serves only to mass target, surveil, and arrest the most vulnerable workers.

The city likes to cite Florida as being “worst in the US” for sex trafficking and yet, as usual, this is based on outdated and mismanaged statistics. The city continues to dismiss its residents, go above our heads, and assume the experiences and identities of those most harmed by its police state. The city is so certain human trafficking is happening that they’ve created an ordinance to arrest victims, yet they’ve never spoken to a single victim of human trafficking themselves. The Sex Worker Solidarity Network & allies has met with the city to inform them of their misunderstandings in the community they claim to represent and were met with typical bureaucrat rhetoric. The city attorney Mike Schmidt admits this ordinance will not stop human trafficking and will ONLY arrest victims of it. He also admitted that arresting victims is the most creative solution they have come up with.

How long must we continue stigmatizing the experiences, lived and orated, by the marginalized? How much more must we endure the oppression of a state which neither cares nor provides for those in need? The Sex Worker Solidarity Network in Tampa does not DISCARD victims. The SWSN is fighting day in and out to protect honest working people from intentional criminalization and stigmatization, the largest threat to the personhood and safety of victims and sex workers alike, and this work will continue despite the state’s best attempt to infiltrate and disband us. This is a call to action for all allies: stand in solidarity with the workers of Tampa Bay and call out the city for its gross disconnection and subsequent harm done to their own residents. In the mean time the Sex Worker Solidarity Network will continue uplifting the voices of those most silenced by our unfeeling, unlistening, unyielding governing body which believes it knows better for us than we do.

On behalf of workers everywhere, give the city hell about this violation of our speech, existence, and livelihood. In strength and solidarity!

Please email and call Tampa City Council Members. Tell them to oppose the criminalization of sex workers and stop the homophobic bathhouse ordinance.

Guido Maniscalco
(813)274-7071
guido.maniscalco@tampagov.net

Mike Suarez
(813)274-7072
mike.suarez@tampagov.net

Luis Viera
(813) 274-7073
Luis.Viera@tampagov.net

Harry Cohen
(813) 274-8134
harry.cohen@tampagov.net

Yvonne Yolie Capin
(813) 274-8133
yvonne.capin@tampagov.net

Frank Reddick
(813) 274-8189
frank.reddick@tampagov.net

Charlie Miranda
(813) 274-7074
charlie.miranda@tampagov.net
north america / mexico / community struggles / review Sunday December 03, 2017 12:17 byWayne Price

How can we build an effective popular movement to change society? That is the subject of this book, which has been widely praised. In my opinion, it has important and profoundly true things to say, but is politically unbalanced and mistaken in certain ways.


This is an important and interesting book about how to build a movement. From the blurbs it includes, it has been highly praised by many well-known militants and theorists of change. In my opinion, as a libertarian (antiauthoritarian) socialist, it has something profoundly true to say, but it is politically unbalanced.

We live in a time when awful things are happening, politically, economically, socially, militarily, and ecologically—and worse things threaten to happen. Yet, as Jonathan Smucker points out (relying on the polls), “Today in the United States more millennials identify with socialism than with capitalism….On nearly every major issue, relatively progressive positions have come to enjoy a majority of support….The establishment is in crisis. Popular opinion is on our side.” (2017; 252—254) Why then are those committed to social justice so weak, marginalized, and with minimal political impact? What can be done to change that? That is the important topic addressed by this book.

Smucker’s message is essentially this: too much of the Left is inward-looking, comfortable with itself, and self-involved. It is correct, even essential, to have a core group of reliable militants, but leftists must reach out to others, go beyond their comfort zone, and get other people involved, to whatever degree they can be involved. It is not enough to build a club of the like-minded. It is necessary to work out a strategy for winning gains, for influencing others, for achievement, and for exercising power. It is necessary to build a movement, a movement for power. The strategic aim should be to challenge the dominance (the “hegemony”) of the ruling elite over popular consciousness and established institutions—and to ultimately replace its hegemony with that of the Left.

That is the book in a nutshell. He repeats the message over and over, to drive it home, with various elaborations and modifications. This message is true and important but not especially new. For decades, revolutionary Marxist and anarchist organizations have urged their members to go beyond middle class intellectuals and students, to root themselves in the working class—particularly in the most oppressed and discriminated-against sectors of the working class (African-Americans, unskilled workers, women, etc.). This was essential for building an effective revolutionary movement.

For example, in the ‘70s, Hal Draper criticized sects which postured as small mass parties: “The life-principle of a revolutionary mass party is not simply its Full Program, which can be copied with nothing but an activist typewriter and can be expanded or contracted like an accordion. Its life-principle is its integral involvement as a part of the working-class movement, its immersion in the class struggle not by a Central Committee decision but because it lives there.” (quoted in Krul 2011)

Prefiguration vs. Strategy



The problem of the self-enclosed and isolated grouping, then, applies in many forms on the Left. It applies to small revolutionary socialist organizations, built around their dogmas and their newspapers. It applies to co-op stores and bicycle clubs. But Smucker is especially aiming his criticism at anarchists, based on his experience in the Occupy Wall Street encampment in 2011. (Which is also consistent with my own—much more limited—experience with OWS.) He describes the anarchists as focused on building a self-governing collectivity, which would inspire people to go and do likewise. They did not, he claims, think of OWS in strategic terms, about how to use it as a basis for building a broader movement to challenge established politics. They vehemently opposed raising demands on the state, which would have been necessary if the movement was to attract others. He counterposes the anarchist emphasis on “prefigurative” organizing to his focus on “strategic” thinking.

“In contrast to power politics, ‘prefigurative politics’ seeks to demonstrate the ‘better world’ it envisions for the future in the actions it takes today….I argue that even leftist idealists have to strategically engage power politics proper, if they hope to build anything bigger than a radical clubhouse.” (103) Smucker cites major anarchist theorists, “Manuel Castells, Richard J.F. Day, and David Graeber seem to concur with my claim that [prefigurative politics] aims to replace…strategic politics, especially if the later is defined in terms of hegemonic contestation.” (127)

For example, David Graeber has written, “… most successful forms of popular resistance have historically taken the form not of challenging power head on, but of ‘slipping away from its grasp’, whether by means of flight, desertion, or the founding of new communities.” (quoted in Price 2016) Laurence Davis summarizes—favorably—this viewpoint, “For contemporary ‘small-a’ anarchists…these here-and-now alternative institutions…and social relationships …are the essence of anarchism….Many contemporary anarchists insist that ‘the revolution is now’….” (same) Some autonomous Marxists have adopted a similar perspective, calling it “exodus”—somehow escaping from capitalism without confronting it or the state.

I have written several essays critical of this view (Price 2015a; 2015b; 2006). Most of Smucker’s criticism is on the mark. The capitalist class with its institutions of power—especially the state—will not allow the people to gradually and peacefully build alternate institutions which could replace the market, industrial capitalism, and the national state. This was demonstrated (once again) when the police broke up Occupy encampments, after a few months. This was done throughout the country, with coordination by the (Obama-Democratic) national government. The power of the state could not be ignored.

But the opinions he cites are from only one school of anarchism. There is also the tradition of revolutionary class-struggle anarchism (libertarian socialism). (Price 2016; 2009) This aims to build a mass movement which can eventually overthrow the capitalist class and its state, along with all other institutions of oppression—and replace them with self-managed, cooperative, nonprofit, institutions from below. It sees a major role for the working class, with its potential power to stop the means of production. It also has organized other sections of the oppressed and exploited to fight for freedom, in various countries and at various times.

Smucker, who claims to have once been an anarchist, appears to be completely ignorant of this alternate, and mainstream, tendency in anarchism, which goes back to Bakunin and Kropotkin, the anarchist-communists and the anarcho-syndicalists. (A slight example of Smucker’s ignorance of anarchism appears in his discussion of recent biological evidence that human beings, like other animals, are not only competitive and aggressive, but also are highly cooperative and sociable. This is true, but it was demonstrated over a century ago by Peter Kropotkin in his Mutual Aid, a foundational work for anarchism.)

Revolutionary anarchism would not accept this binary counterposition of prefiguration vs. a strategy for power—whether raised, on different sides, by Smucker or by certain anarchists. Even Smucker accepts that a strategic approach may incorporate prefiguration, as a minor aspect. But actually the two depend on each other. We cannot build a participatory democratic society unless we build a participatory democratic movement, and it will be a stronger movement the more that people democratically participate.

This point is made in a book on unions, fittingly titled, Democracy is Power.Internal democracy is key to union power….A union will act in the interests of members only if these members control the union….The power of the union lies in the participation of its members, and it requires democracy to make members want to be involved….A union run by the members is also more likely to exercise its power.” (Parker & Gruelle 1999; 14) This does not mean that specific forms, such as consensus and open membership, are always required. However, strategy and prefiguration should be one and the same.

The Limits of Liberalism



The primary weakness of this book is its one-sided focus on sectarian withdrawal and self-involvement on the Left. What Smucker says against this is true, but it is not the whole truth.

The main problem with the Left in the U.S. (and elsewhere) is not self-involvement but liberalism, reformism, and opportunism. From the ‘30s to today, most of the Left has supported—or at least, accommodated—capitalism, only urging better regulation of business by the state. It has promoted the state as the main remedy for all social evils—if only the state would be somewhat more democratic. It has portrayed the state as a neutral institution, to be used by the corporate rich or by the working people, depending on events. It has urged a focus on elections, to put individuals into office to be “political” for the people. It has channeled mass action into the Democratic Party, the “party of the people,” which has consistently been the swamp in which movements suffocate and die. This has been true not only of liberals but also of most of those calling themselves “socialists” or “communists.”

The liberal approach has led to victories, but none which have remained stable and reliable (especially since the period of renewed stagnation and decline beginning about 1970, following the “long boom”). Unions won the right to organize—but today unions in the private sector only represent about 6 % of the labor force, about where they were before the upsurge of the ‘30s. African-Americans defeated legal segregation, but Black people are still on the bottom of society. Even their right to vote is under attack. Women made gains, which are again under attack, especially the right to legal abortions. The “Vietnam syndrome,” which limited the U.S.’s military interventions abroad, is over; now the U.S. wages war around the world, and threatens nuclear war with North Korea. Advancements in environmental protection have been viciously attacked by the current administration—which has attacked popular gains in every field. (Readers may add to the list as they chose.) Liberalism—reformism—has been a failure overall.

Yet this seems to be Jonathan Smucker’s perspective. While he strongly (and correctly) criticizes self-enclosed, sectarian, anarchists and others, he has barely a few phrases about the danger of being coopted by ruling powers. He hopes to build a broad popular movement, including large numbers of “ordinary people,” workers of all sorts, students, and oppressed people—but also to include powerful people from the rich and governing sectors. He wants to win over “allies within the existing establishment.” (167) Radicals need to know “how to strategically influence a decision-maker….” (250) There is a need for “actively courting influential supporters….” (70) This implies not an alliance against the ruling class but an alliance with sections of the ruling class and the state. (This has traditionally been called a “Popular Front,” as opposed to a broad alliance of organizations, parties, and movements of the working class and oppressed sections, which has been called a “United Front.”) In order to include establishment allies, the movement would have to limit the demands which can be raised and the methods which can be used.

Smucker’s aim is not only for a popular movement to develop counter-power to the ruling class, but to take state power. “The state is no longer an other that we stand in opposition to as total outsiders; instead we become responsible for it—parts of it, at least….” (152) His goal is “to consolidate victories in the state….wresting the helm.” (150) He expresses admiration for “the Chavistas in Venezuela…[who] have succeeded in winning some level—however limited a degree—of state power….” (136) Smucker does not mention more recent developments in Venezuela, which have not gone so well for the regime nor for its working and poor people.

Elections and the Democratic Party



To win “victories in the state”, it will be necessary to run in elections. “Hopefully this moment is helping today’s radicals to reconsider our relationship to electoral campaigns and political parties….” (170) Besides the Chavistas, he makes several glowing references to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. “In 2016 Bernie Sanders picked up the torch that Occupy lit….”
(246) “The Bernie Sanders campaign showed again…the ripe possibility of such an insurgent political alignment.” (217) The Sanders campaign did demonstrate that there was a lot of dissatisfaction which might be mobilized even behind someone who was called a “socialist” and spoke of “revolution.” This was significant.

But what was the strategic result? Sanders channeled this dissatisfaction into the Democratic Party, eventually behind Hillary Clinton, a neoliberal, militarist, establishment politician. Those who organized the Sanders campaign are now trying to keep its momentum in the capitalist party which has historically been the graveyard of movements. They want to turn the militant youth into voting fodder for another pro-imperialist, pro-capitalist, candidate, who has no solution for the economic and ecological disasters which are looming.

Smuckers cites a lot of sociologists and political scientists, but few radicals. He cites no anarchists (except for the non-revolutionary types) and no Marxists (except for the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci--died in 1937). He never considers the nature of the state, apparently treating it as a neutral institution which can be used by either the people or by the corporate rich. He seems to think that competing classes can take over different “parts” of the same state—denying that it is a unitary institution. One thing on which both the revolutionary anarchists and Lenin agreed was that the existing state was an instrument of capitalism, and that it needed to be overthrown and replaced by alternate institutions. The fate of the Occupy encampments was one demonstration of this.

Other examples have appeared more recently in Greece in the fate of the elected Syriza government, in Brazil with the Workers’ Party government, in South Africa with the ANC, and in many other reformist parties over the decades (such as Allende in Chile in 1973 or the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 30s). Smucker discusses the OWS experience but not any of these. Nor does he examine any of the rich history of revolutions and counterrevolutions, which have been studied by anarchists, Marxists, and bourgeois historians. It is true that we cannot expect a revolution—or even a prerevolutionary period—in the near future. But the goal of a revolution can be used to guide the current struggle for reforms and how that is carried out. A study of the history of previous attempts at revolution could provide lessons even broader than only looking at OWS and the other limited experiences which Smucker has personally gone through.

In fact, limiting ourselves just to struggles for reforms, in the U.S. almost every major victory has been won by non-electoral means. The rights of unions were won through mass strike waves. The destruction of legal Jim Crow and other gains for African-Americans were won through mass civil disobedience as well as urban rebellions (“riots”). The war in Vietnam was opposed through demonstrations, draft resistance, campus strikes, and a virtual mutiny in the armed forces. LGBT rights were fought for through the Stonewall rebellion and ACT-UP’s civil disobedience. The women’s movement was an integral part of these non-electoral struggles. The legal and electoral aspects of these movements were efforts by the establishment to respond to these popular struggles, to get them under control, and finally to kill them. The Democratic Party played a big part in that.


The Hegemony of Gramsci



Smucker relies heavily on the concepts of Antonio Gramsci, such as “hegemony”, “articulation,” and others. Without being a Gramsci enthusiast, I do not criticize Smucker for being willing to learn from a Marxist theorist. (Although it seems a little odd to use an unusual word like “hegemony” in the title of a book addressed to a wide audience.) Gramsci advocated a revolution by the working class, in a broad alliance with all oppressed and exploited people, to overturn capitalism and the existing state. These are concepts with which I agree and which Smucker may not, or at least does not raise here. However, even the best Marxists should be read critically, given the disastrous results whenever Marxists have taken power.

For example, the concept of “hegemony,” as used by Gramsci, indicates that the capitalist class rules through dominating popular culture and ideology—and that the working class and oppressed need to reverse this, so that emancipatory culture and ideology becomes the “common sense” of the popular classes.

However, “hegemony” might also be interpreted with authoritarian implications, implying that a minority which thinks it knows the Truth should seek to dominate popular consciousness. In fact, Gramsci was a Leninist, an advocate of a centralized vanguard party. The party, in his conception, aimed to take power through a new state, presumably in the interests of the working class. In the factional conflicts within the Communist International and the Italian Communist Party, Gramsci took the side of Stalin (Chiaradia 2013).

“Hegemony” may also be interpreted as a reformist strategy. If we focus predominantly on the cultural and ideological power of the ruling class, this may lead to downplaying its economic power (the use of unemployment and insecurity to discipline the working class) and the armed power of its state. The police and military do not usually interfere directly in politics, but they are always in the background, to be used in a crisis (again: as in the destruction of the Occupy encampments). This can lead militants to emphasize political maneuvering and cultural enlightenment, and to ignore hard power, confrontation, and the nature of the state. In fact, after World War II, the Italian Communist Party, as well as later “Eurocommunist” parties, followed reformist strategies while claiming to be inspired by Gramsci.

None of this should prevent people from learning whatever they can from Gramsci’s work. (See Anderson 1977.) But they should view it critically.

Hope for the Future



Jonathan Smucker expects continuing difficulties and crises in society to create openings for popular movements, in various ways and on various issues. “A left hegemonic project will become a realistic possibility in the decades ahead.” (255) “The signs are all around us that such a progressive populist alignment is coming into being.” (247) I think this perspective is likely. I also agree with Smucker that radicals need to prepare for this, to think about how to cope with the growing discontent, and to organize ourselves as part of organizing others. The self-organizing of radicals is part of the self-organizing of popular movements.

However, he ignores some of the dangers involved. Liberals, reformists, and those establishment allies Smucker wants to look for, will aim to keep the “populist” movements within respectable and limited bounds—that is, to keep them ineffective. Revolutionary anarchists and other libertarian socialists need to build a militant, radical, left wing of the movements (especially the labor movement with its potential strategic power). They need to oppose (to seek hegemony over) those who withdraw into self-satisfied isolation, but also to oppose those who are willing to accept the limitations of capitalism and its state.

In the front of this book, his anarchist publishers, the AK Press Collective, have a statement. Probably referring to his electoralism and similar aspects of his strategy, they write, “Smucker’s personal politics sometimes include strategies for social change that AK Press doesn’t advocate, but we think the ideas he presents will be useful to a range of strategic approaches….”

As did AK Press, I find this a useful and interesting book. It raises insightful criticisms of some anarchists and others. It proposes programmatic suggestions, some of which I think are valuable from a revolutionary view— and some of which I think are wrong (reformist) but worth thinking through as he presents them.



References



Anderson, Perry (1977). “The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci.”
New Left Review.
http://www.praxisphilosophie.de/anderson_gramsci_antino...s.pdf

Chiaradia, John (2013). “Amadeo Bordiga and the Myth of Antonio Gramsci.”
https://libcom.org/library/amadeo-bordiga-myth-antonio-...radia

Krul, Matthijs (2011). “What We Can Learn From Hal Draper.”
http://mccaine.org/2011/04/14/what-we-can-learn-from-ha...aper/

Parker, Mike, & Gruelle, Martha (1999). Democracy is Power; Rebuilding Unions for the Bottom Up. Detroit: A Labor Notes Book.

Price, Wayne (2016). “In Defense of Revolutionary Class-Struggle Anarchism.” Anarkismo.
https://www.anarkismo.net/article/29243?search_text=Dav...aeber

Price, Wayne (2015a). “Response to Crimethinc’s ‘Why We Don’t Make Demands’.” Anarkismo.
https://www.anarkismo.net/article/28353?search_text=Way...Price

Price, Wayne (2015b). “The Reversed Revolutions of David Graeber:
Review of David Graeber, Revolutions in Reverse.” Anarkismo.
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/28134?search_text=Wayn...Price

Price, Wayne (2009). “The Two Main Trends in Anarchism.” Anarkismo
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/13536?search_text=Wayn...Price

Price, Wayne (2006). “Confronting the Question of Power; Should the Oppressed Take Power?” Anarkismo.
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=2496

Smucker, Jonathan M. (2017). Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals. Chico CA: AK Press.

*written for www.Anarkismo.net

north america / mexico / anti-fascism / press release Monday September 04, 2017 06:21 byAnarchist Federation (Greece)

Those who wink their eye to anti-fascist fronts with the bourgeoisie, they better keep it shut. Centuries of social struggles and lousy betrayals have taught us. Our struggle is always against capitalism. These are the outposts of our camp. These are the outposts of the exploited society in the US, Europe, Greece, Middle East and all over the world.

Charlotsville: The world is divided, the camps are being formed

Τhe 32 year old anti-fascist, Heather Heyer, was killed when a well-known fascist who was participating at the american alt-rights’ gathering in the town of Charlottesville deliberately ran his car over a large number of anti-fascists, causing the death of the 32 year old and dozens of injured, with some of them very seriously.

Let us begin with this: with most recent example the attacks in Barcelona, the Islamic State has adopted the tactic of blind attacks by ramming vehicles into crowds. Several attacks have been made, some with many and others with fewer victims. After each such attack we saw emergency bulletins around the world and endless discussions on terrorism and the need to have it crashed.

Now that the tactics of ISIS have been applied by the Western equivalent of Jihadism, that is the extreme right and the Nazis, what official, which channel, which «profound» analyst is talking about terrorism and the need to annihilate the perpetrators of such tactics? Not one.

Both the incident of the extreme-right terrorist attack (let’s remember that this blind tactic has always been in the arsenal of the extreme right as, for example, in Italy in the 70s but also in Greece with the bombs inside crowded cinemas) and those that preceded and followed it in the small American city may well be the milestone of a new era in the global social war.

In the US, the fascists, under the slogan «Unite the Right» and having as a pretext the demolition of the statue of a racist general of the American civil war in the middle 19th century, are attempting to create a political pole that will concentrate the entire right-wing political spectrum under their hegemony; A pole, which will be stepping with one leg on bourgeois democracy and with the other on the latter’s «sidewalk», the parastatal violence and terrorism.

In Greece, in Europe and in the whole world, today as well as a century ago, this has been the basic strategy of fascism. Its stake is twofold: dominance in the parliament’s «lounges» and the state corridors and dominance in the «threshing floors» of the street. The rise to power of the «exemplar» capitalist Donald Trump and its clique, with their typical combination of opportunism, arrivism and fascist representations that characterize every consistent big capitalist, gave the fascists an air of success in the «lounges & lobbies». So they also had to step on the «threshing floors» of the street.

But they have miscalculated. The American anti-fascist and anti-capitalist movement, under the steady rise and wider penetration of anarchist ideas and practices, battle-hardened in the last years, both through the clashes that broke out after the non-stopping cold-blooded racist murders by the American state, and through defending economic, political and environmental rights, has lifted the glove. By adopting practices of direct confrontation and massive counter violence actions, it stood up against the Nazi rally, revealed its nakedness, fought it and eventually humiliated it. But the price was heavy.

It is clear that we are at the beginning of the formation of two hostile camps. Not that they didn’t already exist. But now they are starting to come out, and the truth behind them can no longer remain hidden: on one side we have capitalism, repression, racism, religious fundamentalism, legitimized social cannibalism, while on the other the forces of freedom, equality, unity among the repressed, and social self-management.

Of course, we can not fail to observe the torrent of hypocrisy, overflowing from the liberal and democratic establishment, that followed the events in Charlottesville. This «unanimous condemnation» of the Nazis and the KKK, and the supposed «tolerance» of all this rabble to the anti-fascists, is nothing more than a farce. All they care about is to recovering the state power that is now held by Tramp and it’s cliques.

It is true that for a part of the capital this widespread racism is viewed as a negative factor for its profits. But we should not forget that there is another part of capital that sees racism positively, and that, in any case, when the situation becomes difficult, fascism and racism will always be the most straightforward and consistent defenders of capitalism, whereas those who are fighting against fascism today will be the most honest and consistent anti-capitalists.

That is why the liberals have avoided to talk about «terrorism» in the case of Heather Heyer’s murder. Moreover, we should not be forgetting that the wave of murders by the US police that gave birth to the Black Lives Matter movement, occurred when the liberal, «anti-racist» clique of the «first African-American president of the United States» was in power.

Those who wink their eye to anti-fascist fronts with the bourgeoisie, they better keep it shut. Centuries of social struggles and lousy betrayals have taught us. Our struggle is always against capitalism. These are the outposts of our camp. These are the outposts of the exploited society in the US, Europe, Greece, Middle East and all over the world.

Solidarity to the American anti-fascists and anti-capitalists.

Eternal honor to Heather Heyer.

Death to fascism all over the earth.

Anarchist Federation (Greece)

Βόρεια Αμερική / Μεξικό / Αντιφασισμός / Ανακοίνωση Τύπου Thursday August 24, 2017 21:01 byΑναρχική Ομοσπονδία

Όσοι μας κλείνουν το μάτι για αντιφασιστικά μέτωπα με τους αστούς ας το κρατήσουν κλειστό. Αιώνες κοινωνικών αγώνων και άθλιων προδοσιών μας έχουν διδάξει. Ο δικός μας είναι πάντα και αντικαπιταλιστικός. Αυτά είναι τα «φυλάκια» του δικού μας στρατοπέδου. Αυτά είναι τα προκεχωρημένα φυλάκια της εκμεταλλευόμενης κοινωνίας στις ΗΠΑ, την Ευρώπη, την Ελλάδα, την Μέση Ανατολή σε όλο τον κόσμο.

Charlotteville: Ο κόσμος χωρίζεται, τα στρατόπεδα συγκροτούνται

Μια 32χρονη αντιφασίστρια, η Heather Heyer, έπεσε νεκρή όταν σεσημασμένος φασίστας που έπαιρνε μέρος στο μάζεμα των αμερικάνων ακροδεξιών στην πόλη του Charlottesville έπεσε εσκεμμένα με το αυτοκίνητό του πάνω στο πλήθος των αντιφασιστών, προκαλώντας τον θάνατο της 32χρονης και δεκάδες τραυματίες, με μερικούς από αυτούς πολύ σοβαρά.

Ας ξεκινήσουμε από αυτό: τη χρονιά που μας πέρασε, με πρόσφατο παράδειγμα την επίθεση στη Βαρκελώνη, το Ισλαμικό κράτος υιοθέτησε την τακτική της τυφλής επίθεσης με οχήματα σε πλήθη. Εγιναν αρκετές επιθέσεις, κάποιες με πολλά θύματα κάποιες χωρίς. Μετά από κάθε τέτοια επίθεση είδαμε έκτακτα δελτία σε όλο τον κόσμο και ατελείωτες συζητήσεις περί τρομοκρατίας και την ανάγκη να συντριβεί. Τώρα που την τακτική του ISIS την εφάρμοσε το Δυτικό ανάλογο του Τζιχαντισμού, η ακροδεξιά και οι ναζί ποιος επίσημος, ποιο κανάλι, ποιος εμβριθής αναλυτής μίλησε για τρομοκρατική επίθεση και για ανάγκη να εξοντωθούν οι φορείς μιας τέτοιας τακτικής; Κανένας.

Τόσο το περιστατικό της τρομοκρατικής επίθεσης απο ακροδεξιούς (ας θυμηθούμε ότι αυτή η τυφλή τακτική είναι από πάντα στο οπλοστάσιο των ακροδεξιών, όπως, για παράδειγμα, τη δεκαετία του 70 στην Ιταλία αλλά και στην Ελλάδα με τις βόμβες σε γεμάτα σινεμά) όσο και αυτά που προηγήθηκαν και ακολούθησαν στη μικρή Αμερικανική πόλη είναι ίσως το ορόσημο μια νέας περιόδου στον παγκόσμιο κοινωνικό πόλεμο.

Οι φασίστες στις ΗΠΑ, υπό το σύνθημα «ενώστε τη δεξιά» και με αφορμή το γκρέμισμα του αδριάντα ενός ρατσιστή στρατηγού απο τον Αμερικάνικο εμφύλιο στα μέσα του 19ου αιώνα, επιχειρούν τη δημιουργία ενός πολιτικού πόλου που θα συγκεντρώνει το σύνολο του δεξιού πολιτικού φάσματος υπό την ηγεμονία τους. Ενός πόλου που θα πατάει με το ένα πόδι στην αστική δημοκρατία και με το άλλο στο «πεζοδρόμιο», την παρακρατική βία και τρομοκρατία. Και στην Ελλάδα και στην Ευρώπη και σε όλο τον κόσμο, και σημερα και πριν έναν αιώνα, αυτή είναι η βασική στρατηγική του φασισμού. Το διακύβευμά του είναι διπλό: κυριαρχία στα «σαλόνια» του κοινοβουλίου και τους κρατικούς διαδρόμους, κυριαρχία στα «αλώνια» του δρόμου. Η άνοδος του «υποδειγματικού» καπιταλιστή Τραμπ στην εξουσία και της κλίκας του με αυτόν τον τόσο τυπικό συνδιασμό οπορτουνισμού, αρριβισμού και φασιστικών αναπαραστάσεων που χαρακτηρίζει κάθε συνεπή μεγαλοκαπιταλιστή, έδωσε στους φασίστες τον αέρα της επιτυχίας στα «σαλόνια». Έπρεπε, λοιπόν, να πατήσουν και στα αλώνια.

Μόνο που υπολόγισαν χωρίς τον ξενοδόχο. Το Αμερικανικό αντιφασιστικό και αντικαπιταλιστικό κίνημα, υπό τη συνεχή άνοδο και ευρύτερη διείσδυση των αναρχικών αντιλήψεων και πρακτικών, σκληραγωγημένο τα τελευταία χρόνια στις μάχες που ξέσπασαν μετά τις ασταμάτητες εν ψυχρώ ρατσιστικές δολοφονίες απο το Αμερικανικό κράτος, όσο και σε ζητήματα υπεράσπισης οικονομικών, πολιτικών και περιβαλλοντικών δικαιωμάτων σήκωσε το γάντι. Υιοθετώντας πρακτικές άμεσης αντιπαράθεσης και μαζική αντιβίας, στάθηκε απέναντι στην συγκέντρωση των ναζιστών, αποκάλυψε τη γύμνια της, την πολέμησε έμπρακτα και τελικά την εξευτέλισε. Το τίμημα όμως ήταν βαρύ.

Είναι φανερό ότι βρισκόμαστε στην αρχή της συγκρότησης δύο εχθρικών στρατοπέδων. Όχι ότι πιο πριν δεν υπήρχαν. Αλλά τώρα είναι που αυτά τα στρατόπεδα αρχίζουν πια να βγαίνουν στο φως, και η αλήθεια πίσω από αυτά δεν μπορεί να μείνει άλλο στο σκοτάδι: από τη μία, ο καπιταλισμός, η καταστολή, ο ρατσισμός, ο θρησκευτικός φονταμενταλισμός, ο νομιμοποιημένος κοινωνικός κανιβαλισμός, και από την άλλη οι δυνάμεις της ελευθερίας, της ισότητας, της ενότητας των καταπιεσμένων, της κοινωνικής αυτοδιεύθυνσης.

Δεν μπορούμε βέβαια να μην παρατηρήσουμε αυτόν το χείμαρο υποκρισίας που ξεχείλισε από το φιλελεύθερο και δημοκρατικό κατεστημένο μετά τα όσα έγιναν στο Charlottesville. H «ομόθυμη καταδίκη» των ναζιστών και της ΚΚΚ και η υποτιθέμενη «ανοχή» όλου αυτού του συρφετού στους αντιφασίστες δεν είναι παρά μια φάρσα. Το μόνο που τους ενδιαφέρει είναι η ανάκτηση της κρατικής εξουσίας που τώρα κατέχει ο Τραμπ από τις δικές τους κλίκες.

Πράγματι, ένα μέρος του κεφαλαίου βλέπει τον διάχυτο ρατσισμό ως αρνητικό παράγοντα για τα κέρδη του. Δεν θα πρέπει όμως να ξεχνάμε όχι μόνο ότι υπάρχει ένα άλλο μέρος του κεφαλαίου που βλέπει θετικά τον ρατσισμό αλλά και ότι σε κάθε περίπτωση, όταν η κατάσταση γίνει οριακή, ο φασισμός και ο ρατσισμός θα είναι, όπως πάντα, ο πιο τίμιος και συνεπής υπερασπιστής του καπιταλισμού ενώ αυτοί που σήμερα πολεμάνε τον φασισμό οι πιο τίμιοι και συνεπείς αντικαπιταλιστές. Γι αυτό, άλλωστε, οι φιλελεύθεροι απέφυγαν να μιλήσουν για «τρομοκρατία» στη δολοφονία της Heather Heyer. Επιπλέον, δεν θα πρέπει να ξεχάσουμε ότι το κύμα δολοφονιών έγρωμων από την αστυνομία των ΗΠΑ, που γέννησε το κίνημα του Black lives matter, συνέβει όταν στην εξουσία ήταν η φιλελεύθερη, «αντιρατσιστική» κλίκα του «πρώτου αφροαμερικάνου προέδρου των ΗΠΑ». Όσοι μας κλείνουν το μάτι για αντιφασιστικά μέτωπα με τους αστούς ας το κρατήσουν κλειστό. Αιώνες κοινωνικών αγώνων και άθλιων προδοσιών μας έχουν διδάξει. Ο δικός μας είναι πάντα και αντικαπιταλιστικός. Αυτά είναι τα «φυλάκια» του δικού μας στρατοπέδου. Αυτά είναι τα προκεχωρημένα φυλάκια της εκμεταλλευόμενης κοινωνίας στις ΗΠΑ, την Ευρώπη, την Ελλάδα, την Μέση Ανατολή σε όλο τον κόσμο.

Αλληλεγγύη στους Αμερικάνους αντιφασίστες και αντικαπιταλιστές.

Τιμή για πάντα στην Heather Heyer

Θάνατος στον φασισμό σ' ολόκληρη τη γη

Αναρχική Ομοσπονδία

This page has not been translated into 한국어 yet.

This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Català Ελληνικά Deutsch



¿Què està passant a Catalunya?

¿Què està passant a Catalunya?

North America / Mexico

Thu 18 Jan, 13:41

browse text browse image

socialismbernie.jpg imageThe Revival of U.S. Socialism—And an Anarchist Response Jan 02 03:33 by Wayne Price 0 comments

textTampa's Dark Ages Dec 20 15:48 by Sex Worker Solidarity Network 0 comments

c0oudxuaadivp.png imageThe Limits of Hegemony Dec 03 12:17 by Wayne Price 0 comments

0a8c0b1a8fbc67ae59a40fa3b24b0261.jpg imageCharlottesville: The world is divided... Sep 04 06:21 by Anarchist Federation (Greece) 0 comments

831476496.jpg imageCharlotteville: Ο κόσμος χωρίζ... Aug 24 21:01 by Αναρχική Ομοσπονδία 0 comments

sv.jpg imageΜνήμη Σάκκο και Β ... Aug 17 20:22 by Dmitri 0 comments

charlottesville1024x628.jpg imageMourn the Dead, Fight Like Hell for the Living Aug 16 23:32 by Black Rose Anarchist Federation 0 comments

charlottesville1024x628_5.jpg imageΘρήνος αλλά και α ... Aug 16 21:52 by Dmitri 0 comments

heatherheyer_1.jpeg imageAprès le meurtre d’aujourd’hui, nous devons nous unir, nous défendre nous-mêmes et ensembl... Aug 16 08:18 by General Defense Committee (GDC) 0 comments

heatherheyer.jpeg imageAfter today's murder in Charlottesville, we must all unite to defend ourselves and each ot... Aug 16 08:09 by General Defense Committee (GDC) 0 comments

charlottesville1024x628_2.jpg imagePortons le deuil des morts, combattons sans relâche pour les vivantEs Aug 16 07:51 by Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra 0 comments

charlottesville1024x628_1.jpg imageOrar por los muertos, luchar con furia para los vivos Aug 16 07:44 by Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra 0 comments

heathere1502616758135.jpg imageΔολοφονία της 32χρ&#... Aug 13 22:34 by GDC - IWW 0 comments

textA Response to “In Which the Anarcho-Syndicalists Discover C4SS” Jul 17 14:13 by D. Morse and B. Sousa 1 comments

478320hmarc.png imageFree Speech, Democracy, and “Repressive Tolerance” Jul 07 10:56 by Wayne Price 0 comments

textThe Road Not Taken Jul 06 04:47 by David Van Deusen/Lady/Black Heart Anarchist Collective 0 comments

ayutlaconsejo_popularupoegayotzinapacabildos_milima20141129_0134_11.jpg imageΑποβάλλουν τα πο_... Jul 03 19:21 by ελευθεριακή κοινότητα 0 comments

whatsappimage20170629at123956579x383.jpeg imageAsesinan a activista de la UPVA en Puebla con tiro de gracia; ¡alto a la guerra sucia cont... Jul 03 19:08 by Ruptura Colectiva (RC) 0 comments

19578261_10210034765922694_1213417007_n.jpg image“Aquí ya no entra ningún cártel, ni extorsionadores del gobierno”; Policía Comunitaria de ... Jul 03 18:59 by Demián Revart 0 comments

afondo_mexico_1.jpg imageAyutla de los Libres municipality will govern itself without political parties; it’s peopl... Jun 28 19:10 by Demián Revart 0 comments

18893098_10209835034609536_6735253270687771231_n.jpg image¡Arantepakua no está sola! Jun 28 18:29 by Ruptura Colectiva (RC) 0 comments

afondo_mexico.jpg imageAyutla de los Libres se regirá sin partidos políticos y por la autonomía; es hora de que l... Jun 16 17:32 by Demián Revart 0 comments

textWho Are the Anarchists and What Is Anarchism? Jun 15 03:46 by By Thomas Giovanni 0 comments

fotoprincipal09.jpg imageGrupo paramilitar asesina a 6 personas y deja 3 menores heridos para despojar territorios ... Jun 10 15:41 by Ruptura Colectiva (RC) 0 comments

18881832_10209835253495008_4515325126267650795_n.jpg imageA 2 meses de la masacre en Arantepakua, se fortalece la Ronda Comunitaria "Kuaricha" y la ... Jun 06 17:32 by Demián Revart 0 comments

gritanvivalavoceradelconcejoindigenadegobierno_asambleaconstitutivacigcniezln_dalirioropeza.jpg image“Llegó la hora, ¡acabaremos con el mal gobierno!”: Concejo Indígena de Gobierno y EZLN Jun 03 17:41 by Ruptura Coleciva (RC) 0 comments

18813445_10209782707541392_8138681413318529181_n.jpg imageHueyapan decide de forma unánime conformarse como Municipio Indígena; "estamos más cerca d... May 30 18:32 by Demián Revart 0 comments

18620433_1162661047213463_4012854343119008300_n.jpg image¡Apoyemos el paro nacional de l@s trabajador@s y el boicot en Walmart y subsidiarias! May 26 18:03 by Revolución Internacional / World Revolution 0 comments

18057648_10209517627674561_6863660973845875269_n.jpg imagePreparan resistencia en Cacahuatepec ante la presencia de grupos paramilitares y despojo ... May 19 17:42 by Demián Revart 0 comments

whatsappimage20170518at11.13.57imp.jpg imageUna semana sangrienta para México; 7 trabajadores agrícolas y 2 periodistas asesinados por... May 19 17:26 by Demián Revart 0 comments

more >>
© 2005-2018 Anarkismo.net. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Anarkismo.net. [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]